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20 Apr 2006


[DOC] Reply of ABB to “Divest Sudan” campaign

ABB understands the legitimate concerns among international stakeholders about companies doing business in Sudan... We have no activities in the Darfur area... As a supplier, we have no operations as such in the country, and do not pay direct taxes... ABB firmly believes it is acting as a force for progress in Sudan; that our business is supporting infrastructure development, as well as the human right to power – and the benefits that this brings. These benefits include the rights to education, health care, clean water etc...ABB has been consulting with Amnesty International Business Group, an international human rights expert...[and] representatives of other organizations such as the UN Global Compact and the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights. Amnesty’s position has been clear. It makes no recommendation on staying or withdrawing, but advises that once a company is in a country it should proceed with caution and engage in stakeholder dialogue. This is what we are doing... For the above-mentioned projects, as in other situations where civil conflict, uncertain governance or outright violence may occur, we use risk-assessment tools to screen our exports into such areas, and have management mechanisms and processes in place to detect and handle human rights issues at country level and project level... As part of our work to ensure observance of human rights by ABB and our suppliers, we have drawn up – as part of our work within the BLIHR group - a human rights checklist for managers to use when deciding whether to conduct business. We have road-tested this checklist in sub-Saharan Africa and are strengthening parts of it.